Lingering over a hot dosa / upma + filter coffee breakfast is one of the simple pleasures of a Bangalore weekend morning. Not so much the lingering in some places but in general, there is an air of what’s-the-big-hurry on these occasions. This being the general air in Bangalore. Which suits me fine sometimes. Just sometimes. The problem is that the waiters in these places also have the same attitude – what’s the big hurry? Add to this the other major chip-on-shoulder that these guys in old Bangalore eating places carry, viz. be grateful for what and when I serve you, and sometimes it turns out to be a patience-testing meal. Think: India Coffee House. Grrrr.
Anyway… here, the first in a series on these wonderful ‘Bangalore Breakfast’ options.
I may as well start with the legend: MTR. High on the list of the aforementioned waiters-with-attitude Bangalore places. It’s a bit like being in the Tirupati temple (I am told, I have not been there) – there is always a huge crowd, people waiting have the same look of eager devotion on their faces and they are generally pushed around by the man in charge of the “here is where you sit” arrangements. Defy him and you don’t get served any food – I kid you not. Add to this the fact that MTR always has only limited options at any meal – take it or leave it.
So strictly speaking, not a favourite favourite with me – I like the food there. What am I saying, I love their dosa. I respect the fact that it is an old Bangalore tradition – established in 1924. I like the way people head to MTR after their morning walk at Lalbagh to undo any good the exercise may have done, with a dosa soaked in ghee, followed by the special sweet of the morning. I like the way they serve their filter coffee (wonderful pick-me-up!) in silver glasses, with that warm froth on top. I like how large families come there for a together meal, any day of the week. I just don’t like the way they push me around – but then, you win some, you lose some.
And I am overjoyed by the existence of the new MTR on St. Mark’s Road – nicer seating, friendlier staff (well, they don’t actually snarl) and more choice of what you can actually eat.